ZIMBABWE’S Retail Pharmacists Association (RPA) have raised concern over the growing cases of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (DR TB) amidst indications that not less that 465 000 people fell ill with multiple-drug resistant TB in 2019.
By Staff Reporter
In a statement, Jocelyn Chaibva, the Chairperson, Retail Pharmacists Association said there was need to reach out to everyone and ensure no one is left behind.
As community pharmacists, we are fully aware and appreciate that: The clock is ticking, hence our joining hands with the rest of the healthcare team on the frontline in fighting the dual attack from the two diseases, namely Tuberculosis is and COVID-19. It is however worrying to note that more than 465 000people fell ill with multiple-drug resistant TB in 2019.
“We therefore reiterate the need for each and everyone of us to be aware of the following: The medicines against TB should be taken as prescribed until they are finished, in order to prevent the development of drug resistance;. We should ensure that our homes, churches, work spaces, and schools are adequately ventilated,” said Chaibva.
She also encouraged citizens to practise cough etiquette by covering their mouth properly when coughing to avoid the dual spreading of TB and COVID-19.
“We should seek healthcare services early whenever we are not feeling well;5.5.We should wash our hands with running soapy water and also sanitize as often as necessary and ensure good hygiene.We should eat healthy food, and take it while it is still hot and avoid cold foods.
“As community pharmacists, we are always ready to offer counselling on medicines and their expected side effects. Thus, we call upon everyone taking medicines to always talk to their pharmacist about their medicines and must not stop taking medicines on their own without talking to their doctor, nurse or pharmacist.”
She also called upon the corporate world to partner with government and the donor community in pooling resources together to fight TB in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030.
“Further,we call upon relevant stakeholders to support our colleagues in research and academia by channeling more resources towards TB research especially in areas of nanotechnology in the treatment of the disease.We strongly believe that together we can end TB by 2030 in line with the WHO End TB Strategy and the Moscow Declaration to End TB. We,the community pharmacists,are collaborating with the rest of the stakeholders in the race to end TB by 2030.”
According to available data, 63 000 000 lives have been saved since the year 2000 through global efforts to end tuberculosis where medicines and vaccines have been used to treat and prevent (prophylaxis) the disease.